That day, this song will be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city;
to guard us he has set wall and rampart about us. Open the gates! Let the UPRIGHT nation come in, she, the faithful one whose mind is steadfast, who keeps the peace, because she trusts you.
The people of Judah lived in precarious circumstances with the threat of Assyria looming. Isaiah preaches a message of trust in God alone and warns against alliances with other nations. Walls, ramparts and gates are the physical signs of God’s protection. The would-be invader or attacker needs a strategy to get through these protections. Judah can feel safe with these things in place.
Isaiah imagines the triumphal entry of Judah into the safe and protected city. It’s the upright nation and the faithful one who will walk through the gates and be assured of God’s presence. It’s those ‘whose mind is steadfast’ and those who ‘keep the peace’ who now walk through the gates. ‘Upright’ and ‘faithful’ are short-hands for living in relationship with God, for following the Law in word and deed.
As the story of our salvation has unfolded this Advent we have met the upright. These are the people who have put their trust in God’s promise and walked in his ways. They were humble enough to know their need of God.
Who are the ‘upright’ in your own life?
What have they taught you?
(Isaiah 25:6-10, Tuesday, Week One)